Route 66: Missouri

Chain of Rocks Bridge
St. Louis MO

The Old Chain of Rocks Bridge spans one of the most scenic areas of the Mississippi River. When it was completed in 1929 it shortened travel time between St. Louis, Missouri and Edwardsville, Illinois. It is 5,353 feet long and is one of the longest continuous steel truss bridges in the country. One of the most distinctive features of the Chain of Rocks Bridge is the 22-degree bend in the middle. This feature allowed southbound riverboats to align with the current, slip between the Bridge's piers and avoid crashing into two water intake towers midstream just south of the Bridge. The Chain of Rocks Bridge became a part of Route 66 in 1936 and was used until 1968 when the opening of the toll-free I-270 bridges caused a decline in traffic.

Quote from: The Road Wanderer

Ted Drewes Frozen Custard
St. Louis MO

Ted Drewes is a frozen custard shop in St. Louis, Missouri, USA. The original St. Louis shop on Natural Bridge Road operated from 1930 to 1958. The Chippewa Street (designated as a section of historic U.S. Route 66) is open much of the year, the South Grand Boulevard location is open in summer. The Chippewa location is open until around midnight during the summer months. Both locations are extremely popular during the spring and summer months, and are a tradition for many after attending St. Louis Cardinals baseball games.
Quote from: Wikipedia 

Diamonds Restaurant
Villa Ridge MO

As Route 66 enters Villa Ridge, the "new" Diamonds Restaurant once stood at the intersection of MO-100 and US-66. The first Diamonds, built in 1927, was constructed in the shape of a baseball diamond, hence the name. Touted as the "World’s Largest Roadside Restaurant,” the business was established by Spencer Groof and also sold Phillips 66 gasoline, as well as renting cabins across the street. In 1948, the restaurant burned to the ground in a fire that blazed so so furiously that Route 66 had to be temporarily closed. Rebuilt, the Diamonds continued to operate at this location (west of exit 251) until 1967 when it was bypassed by the interstate. Picking up, lock, stock, and barrel, including their vintage sign, the business moved two miles eastward, but still did not survive. The original Diamonds building then began to house the Tri-County Truck Stop and Restaurant, which ironically, did live on beyond the Diamonds Restaurant but it, too, is closed today. The old truck stop is located at 144 Old Highway 66.

Quote from: Legends of America

Zephyr Gas Station
Villa Ridge MO

The Zephyr gas station brand is one of the oldest independent brands in the United States, dating back to 1939 when the J. D. Street Company in Maryland Heights, Missouri branched out into gasoline marketing. The company was established in 1884 as a grease distributor.

At its peak, there were as many as 500 stations, branching out as far as Ohio and Florida. However, the gas crunch of the mid-70s, took its toll on the stations, and the company reigned back in, closer to home, with stations primarily in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa and Kentucky.

This old Zephyr Station, west of Villa Ridge, Missouri on the North Service road is one of its many casualties. The old station is just east of Pin Oak Creek Road on the south side.

Quote from: Legends of America

Gardenway Motel
Villa Ridge MO

On Route 66 near the communities of Gray Summit and Villa Ridge stands the Gardenway Motel.
Though it now serves longer-term clientele instead of overnight tourists, both the motel itself and its neon sign look to be in pretty good shape.

Quote from: Route 66 University

Route 66 Mural City
Cuba MO

Cuba is a city in Crawford County, Missouri, United States, and it is known as "Route 66 Mural City,"in recognition of Viva Cuba's Outdoor Mural Project. The population was 3,230 at the 2000 census.
Cuba was once visited by Harry Truman during a tour of U.S. Route 66. He surveyed the property that would eventually become Indian Hills Lake and was thoroughly impressed with the prospect of it. Besides Harry Truman, Bette Davis and Amelia Earhart also visited the town. Their visits are commemorated in the Viva Cuba Mural Project.

Quote from: Wikipedia

Wagon Wheel Motel
Cuba MO

The Wagon Wheel Cabins were built in the chaotic times of 1935 when the nation was barely out of depression and the dust bowl had destroyed millions of acres of land.

Robert W. & Margaret Martin were the first owners of the Wagon Wheel Cabins, purchasing the land in late 1934. The Martins hired Leo Friesenhan to do the building. Records show they worked on all the buildings at the same time and the local farmers carried the stone to him. Leo’s combination of stone, design, and nearly indestructible mortar recipe has endured for 75 years, giving the Wagon Wheel its spot on the National Registry of Historic Places.

Quote from: Wagon Wheel Motel

Fanning 66 Outpost
Cuba MO


The Fanning 66 Outpost is home to the official, Guinness Book of World Records, World's Largest Rocker! It stands 42 feet and 1 inch tall and is 20 feet and 3 inches wide. People come from all around to see the Route 66 Rocker, you can't miss it! While you are there, check out the general store and gift shop as well as the Taxidermy house and new 3D Archery Range.

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Totem Pole Trading Post
Rolla MO

Rolla, Missouri is bookended by a pair of old-time Route 66 trading posts. If you're traveling east to west, then you've already seen the Mule Trading Post on the east outskirts of town. Here on the west side of Rolla you'll find the Totem Pole Trading Post.

This trading post has moved a couple of times over the years in response to re-alignments of U.S. 66 and, later, I-44. The original totem pole that attracted highway travelers in the early days from its prominent position outside has been retained and now adorns the interior of the building.

Quote from: Route 66 University

Devil’s Elbow MO

In this small community, you truly feel as if you have stepped back in time as you drive this endearing piece of the old Mother Road. Sheldon’s Market, which also houses the post office, first began as Miller’s Market in 1954 and was later called Allman’s Market. The Elbow Inn Bar and Barbeque Pit was established in 1929 and is one of the oldest original buildings on Route 66 that still operates as the same type of business. The Elbow Inn was the one time home of the Munger Moss Sandwich Shop which moved to Lebanon in 1946 after the highway was realigned through the Hooker Cut.

An old steel truss bridge, dating back to 1926, crosses the Big Piney River in Devil’s Elbow and a McCoy’s Store and Camp, built in 1941 still stands. Though no longer open, it once had a busy store on the lower level and rented rooms to Route 66 travelers during its heydays.

Quote from: Legends of America

Route 66 Museum
Lebanon MO

The Route 66 Museum is open daily from 8am to 8pm, Monday thru
Thursday and 8am to 5pm Friday and Saturday.
The Museum is designed to allow for self guided tours. Bus tours are always
welcome, and there is no admission fee.

Route 66 Museum

Munger Moss Motel
Lebanon MO

The Munger Moss originally was a barbecue place located on the Big Piney River at Devil's Elbow, just east of Ft. Leonardwood, MO. It was started in the late 30's or early 40's. A couple by the name of Munger ran it, Mr. Munger passed away, and Mrs. Munger remarried a gentleman by the name of Emmett Moss. Hence Munger Moss Sandwich shop came to life. It became very famous for its' barbecue recipe, and was known up and down Highway 66 as such. Don't know for sure when the Hudson's took over the barbecue place, but do know it was war years. The tale is that it took all day for a truck loaded with an airplane to go from the bottom of the hill to the top out of Devil's Elbow. That was when they started cutting down the big hill that you see in the postcards known as the Hooker Cut.

Quote from: Munger Moss

Wrink’s Market
Lebanon MO

Wrink's is a family-run store serving both locals and highway travelers since the 1940s. Glenn Wrinkle (affectionately called "Wrink") began operating the store in 1950, and died in 2005, after running the store for 55 years. The store then closed temporarily, but in 2007 was re-opened by Glenn's son Terry, who continues the family tradition.

Quote from: Route 66 University

Lurvey’s Motel
Strafford MO

In 1928 The Lurvey's pulled up their camp in Strafford and moved it west on Route 66 to 2939 E. Kearney. The photo above is how it looked in the 1950's. They had 12 sandstone units in six buildings. During the 1970's they were converted to rentals and are now boarded up and abandoned. The Lurvey Motel is just east of The Holiday Drive In and are in jeopardy of being lost forever.

If the city of Springfield were smart they would attempt to purchase these and make them into a tourist destination or a Route 66 Historical park, greeting Route 66 travelers. It would be a positive move for the North Springfield area which is in need of these types of attractions. The sandstone is still in great shape but the roofs are caving in. With some attention and a federal historical grant it could be converted.

Quote from: Missouri Route 66

Rest Haven Court
Springfield MO

The brilliant neon sign at the Rest Haven Court greets you, as you arrive in Springfield, Missouri. The old motor court comes before the city and bypass routes split, so you won't miss it, whichever route you choose.
That sign sure looks familiar, doesn't it? One website reports that the Munger Moss folks were so impressed by Rest Haven's sign, they copied the design.

Quote from: Take my Trip

Whitehall Mercantile
Halltown MO

Whitehall Mercantile occupies a two-story building in Halltown, Missouri on historic Route 66 - "Mainstreet USA." Built in 1900, this building housed a general store and the post office on the ground floor. The old pot-bellied stove drew many to "settle the world's problems" as they soaked up its heat. The upper story was the hall for the I.O.O.F. Lodge. The Rebekahs and the Masonic Lodge met there as well. It was truly a social hub for the community and surrounding area.

Quote from: Whitehall Mercantile 

Route 66 Drive-In Theatre
Carthage MO

Carthage is also home to one of the few surviving drive-in theaters left in America. During the hey-day of Route 66 there were countless drive-ins in operation along the old highway. I still have found memories of many a magical summer evening spent at the drive-in with my family. That was a special time in my life. I feel very bad that I can't pass those times on to my children. The drive-in has become a thing of the past, one more icon of simpler times that has given way to our new high-tech fast paced life in America today. Except in Carthage, Missouri thanks to the efforts of the Goodman family. Mark and Dixie Goodman looked around one day and noticed something from their childhood was missing from the new generic American landscape. The drive-in movie theaters had all but disappeared.

Quote from: The Road Wanderer